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Dish Network launches $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel

The offer will compete with one from Japanese operator SoftBank to acquire the operator.

Dish Network has made a US$25.5 billion bid to acquire wireless operator Sprint Nextel, hoping to edge out a rival bid from Japanese operator SoftBank.

The satellite service provider's merger proposal to Sprint's board of directors offers $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock. Sprint shareholders would receive $7 per share, based upon Dish's closing price on April 12, the company said in a statement issued on Monday.

This isn't the first time Dish has gotten involved with Sprint. In January it presented a bid on Clearwire, throwing a wrench into Sprint Nextel's deal to buy its mobile broadband partner.

Dish said its proposal is a superior alternative to the pending SoftBank proposal.

"Sprint shareholders will benefit from a higher price with more cash while also creating the opportunity to participate more meaningfully in a combined Dish/Sprint with a significantly enhanced strategic position and substantial synergies that are not attainable through the pending SoftBank proposal." said Charlie Ergen, Chairman of Dish.

SoftBank announced in October last year that it had it has reached a deal to acquire a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20 billion.

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